Teenager Akram Musleh arrested for aligning himself with ISIS
Family supported Akram Musleh in his quest for Jihad
Indianapolis Star reports:
Akram Musleh long sought to join ISIS, federal court documents allege, hoping to travel overseas to join the terrorism group as a fighter.
The Brownsburg teenager’s alleged involvement began on social media in 2013, according to court documents, when he posted videos of terrorist leaders. FBI agents spoke with Musleh back then, hoping to prevent him from pursuing extremism. The teen told investigators he posted those videos simply to understand Islam’s history.
His activity grew more alarming when Musleh, 18, snapped pictures of himself standing in front of a flag associated with ISIS and asked young people in a Brownsburg park if they wanted to join ISIS. He also researched potential terror targets in Indiana and how to create explosives, court documents say, and started communicating with suspected members of ISIS.
In at least one online conversation with a suspected ISIS member, according to court documents, Musleh was urged to carry out attacks against members of the U.S. military in Florida.
Musleh attempted to leave the country on several occasions to join ISIS, only to have his travel plans fall through, court documents say. On Tuesday, Musleh’s latest attempt ended at the Greyhound station in Downtown Indianapolis.
FBI agents arrested him on a charge of material support of terrorism. They also searched the teen’s home in the Brownsburg Pointe apartment complex.
If convicted, Musleh faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a lifetime of supervised release and a $250,000 fine, according to a Justice Department news release.
“The radicalization of American citizens by terrorist organizations like (ISIS) is a threat to our safety here and abroad,” U.S. Attorney Josh J. Minkler said in a statement. “I am committed to using the full authority of the United States attorney’s office to identify, investigate and prosecute those that materially support terrorism.”
Officials say YouTube videos of Anwar Al-Awlaki posted by Musleh were first discovered in August 2013.